Court upholds CBN’s power to freeze account

Posted by News Express | 1 June 2020 | 371 times

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Justice Sule Hassan of a Federal High Court in Lagos has upheld the power of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to freeze any account being investigated for alleged fraudulent activity.

The judge’s decision followed striking out of a suit filed by a Professor at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Anthony Elujoba, against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), challenging the directive of the apex bank to a new generation bank to freeze his account whilst under investigation for an alleged fraud.

In his judgement, Justice Hassan agreed with the submissions of CBN’s lawyer, Professor Fabian Ajogwu (SAN), that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit against CBN.

The court held that the apex bank had acted in good faith in pursuance of its duties in accordance with the law and as such no action would be maintained against it.

The court further held that the suit constituted an abuse of court process as there was a subsisting criminal suit with the same substance before an Osun State High Court wherein any decision made in the current suit would overreach and render nugatory.

The plaintiff instituted the suit in May, 2019 against the CBN, Attorney General of the Federation and the new generation bank, challenging the freezing of his bank account pursuant to President Muhammadu Buhari’s Executive Order No. 6 of 2018.

Elujoba, through his lawyer, Dr. Adewale Adedamola Olawoyin (SAN) had contended that the freezing of the said account was unlawful and without due process.

He also argued that freezing of the account had caused him undue hardship as he was entitled to declaratory reliefs and damages in the sum of N10 million. (New Telegraph)

Source: News Express

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